There’s only one day left until the countdown to Christmas officially begins by opening that first window, pocket or bag on your advent calendar! I love the tradition of advent calendars and much prefer a nice homemade version that you can use year after year to a shop-bought chocolate one.
Eko and I taught a workshop on how to make this sweet little paper bag advent calendar at our studiOH! pop-up workshops, but you can also use our templates to make it at home. These little bags are just big enough for a chocolate, a little snippet of nature like a stone or a feather, or a cute little toy. There is also an envelope version of the calendar, which is perfect if you’d like to pop a note into each one – I love the idea of allocating a Christmas activity to each day e.g. make fruit mince pies, go and see the Christmas lights, watch a Christmas movie, make crackers…
Here’s how to make this calendar!
You will need:
- 5 x small potatoes, plus a couple of extras
- print-out of numbers 0-9 in a bold, clear font, around 80 point
- craft knife
- bag or envelope template (follow the link to purchase from our website)
- 5 metres of paper, either plain kraft or patterned
- glue stick
- 3 x A4 pieces of cardboard
- guillotine or circle punch
- ink for stamping
- 5 metres of string or ribbon
- 24 x miniature pegs
First make your potato stamps:
- cut out each of the numbers on your print-out
- cut your potatoes in half and dab each half with some paper towel to dry it off
- place a number face down on a potato half and shade over the back of the paper in pencil so that you cover the whole area where the number is printed. You will see that the ink transfers nicely onto the potato!
- using your craft knife, cut along the outside of the lines of the number on the potato, to about ½cm deep
- carefully cut away the rest of the potato, leaving only the number raised, to a depth of about ½cm
Print your carton or pouch template directly onto one A4 sheet of card, or print onto paper and glue it onto card. Cut it out. Use this template to trace 24 carton (bag) or pouch (envelope) outlines onto plain or patterned paper. Cut out the cartons or pouches, fold and glue them together.
Use your guillotine or circle punch to cut 24 squares or circles from your cardboard (if your card is plain and you want it to be more exciting you can first glue some paper onto the card before cutting it out). Dab your potato stamps with paper towel to dry them, then dab each one with ink until well-covered. Stamp the numbers 1-24 onto your squares or circles of card, one per card.
Use miniature pegs to attach your bags or envelopes to the string or ribbon, evenly spacing them. Use the same peg to attach the number card to the front of the envelope or bag. Alternatively, using a mini hole punch, punch two holes about 1cm apart in the top of each bag or envelope, and the top of each number card. Thread your string or ribbon through the holes, attaching the cards to the envelopes or bag and the envelopes or bags to the string.
Hang your advent calendar length-wise along a wall or between two points in your home, or if you don’t have much space, attach one end high up on a wall, then zig-zag it back and forth down the wall. Pop a little surprise inside each bag or envelope, ready to count down the days till Christmas!